There will be no tax rate change for Nelson County residents despite efforts to change the county’s machinery and tools tax rate.

Currently, the county imposes a machinery and tools tax of $1.25 per $100 of assessed value. At a work budget session in March, Jesse Rutherford, East District representative, proposed eliminating the tax.

According to the proposed Nelson County fiscal year 2020 budget, the county is projected to receive about $40,000 from the machinery and tools tax.

Ben Butler, president of the Nelson County Home Builders Association, said on March 18 the group voted unanimously to endorse the proposition to do away with the tax. Butler said the county has imposed the tax for

15 years he has been in business at least.

“The tax itself isn’t a huge revenue generator,” Butler said.

Butler said he believes without the tax imposed the county will be more appealing to businesses in general.

“The upside of doing away with it is a much greater potential for revenue from businesses in the county,” Butler said.

Carlton Ballowe, chairman of the Nelson County Republican Party, also said his group advocated elimination of the tax, almost unanimously.

“One: we believe the cost of administering the tax might be greater than revenue received. That’s certainly true if you also add cost of compliance as well as county cost. Two: most Republicans would never pass up [an] opportunity to abolish a tax,” Ballowe said.

Ballowe said they almost never get the opportunity to discuss getting rid of a tax.

During the supervisors meeting on April 9, Pam Campbell, commissioner of revenue, told the board her office has received no complaints about the tax when Larry Saunders, chair and South District representative, asked.

“Why wake something that’s asleep?” Saunders asked.

Rutherford proposed cutting the machinery and tools tax rate, but the other board members didn’t believe it was worth changing if there wasn’t a big issue with it from constituents in the county.

“Reducing the amount of revenue the county gets at this time doesn’t seem like a prudent thing for me, especially if it’s not a significant problem to start with,” Reed said.

Supervisors voted

4-1 to approve the resolution to establish the tax rates for 2019. There is no rate change from the previous year and the proposed rates are what the county has used to construct its fiscal year 2020 budget.

Rutherford voted against the motion. In addition to establishing 2019 tax rate, the board voted unanimously to approve a resolution to set

personal property tax relief rates.

“We get [the] same amount every year, the board sets the percentage to use to disburse to qualifying vehicles,” Candy McGarry, director of finance, told the board.

The percent the county calculated is 39 percent, which is the same as it has been for the past few years. The personal property tax relief from the state is $1,708,030 and using the 39 percent, the county would disburse what equates to about $1.6 million to qualifying vehicles.

Qualifying vehicles include those with an assessed value of $1,001 to $20,000 and vehicles with an assessed value of $20,001 or more, but only on the first $20,000 according to the approved resolution.